On our Way to Wembley and it’s not even May.

March 2, 2019

If you are a Spurs fan who has decided to “enjoy” an Arsenal blog (which makes the massive assumption that anyone stupid enough to support a bunch of perennial losers can read) then please leave a comment below (which makes the massive assumption that anyone who is stupid enough to support a bunch of perennial losers can write).

You are Orcs.

To be clear, I write of the fans not the team – the team are quite good. Of course the players are all nearly-men who bottle it when there is a chance of silverware but they do play some attractive football.

Take the Podgy Argie  (Barc/Real soon will). A couple of weeks ago Spurs were in contention for the title, then in typical fashion, they lose 2 games and the Fatboy publicly gives up any hope. London Manager of the Season? For what? Guiding a big Top 6 club to being in the Top 6?  But a trophy is a trophy and the Spurs Trophy cabinet, as we well know, is barren.

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Spurs have some fine players who will be desperate to win today. A strong and fair referee will be important, unfortunately it is Anthony Taylor, a man described by none other than Saint Arsene as “dishonest to his federation” We can only hope that he is balanced in his poor decision making.

Poch has yet to lose a home NLD, Mr Emery has yet to lose an away NLD. 🙂

Our NLD away record in recent times is awful, one could say, embarrassing. It is one thing having such a record at Maine Road but at Spurs? When I think of Spurs away in my mind’s eye I see Brady’s swerving shot in a 5 goal victory, Kennedy’s header in our first Double season, the lads dancing with a plastic PL trophy  in 2004. But these were all at White Hart Lane not the soulless bowl of Spurs current home ground. Yes, I know they will have a fine stadium next season but it will still be full of drooling muppets.

Enough of them …

Our boys are improving. We have beaten some poor opposition and are ready for stiffer challenges.

Mr. Emery has some difficult selection and tactical decisions – 3 or 4 at the back? Ozil or Ramsey or both? Iwobi? Who starts at right back given the pace Spurs play at? Do we defend deep, pack the midfield and hope to score on the counter or do we attack from the off? Lacazette or PEA or both?

I would start with Ramsey, just Laca upfront, Iwobi and Kola on the left, Mhki for an hour and then bring on Mesut. We have a powerful bench.

Here’s a question I have been toying with. Would I prefer to take two points from the next 2 games or 3 i.e. draw to both MU and Spurs or win one, lose one? Which is better? My conclusion … 6 points.

COYRRG

 


A Sinking Ship? Player Ratings

February 26, 2018

Are we a sinking ship or just a side in transition which is completely out of form?

Yesterday’s trouncing hurt. I don’t agree that there was  lack of effort or fight, in my opinion (and I know it is not some of yours) it was a lack of quality. We simply got outplayed and out-thought. Both the players and the management.

Not one AA’er thought we would win, some may have hoped but none honestly believed we would leave with the Cup. What we all hoped for was that Arsenal would compete and for much of the first half we did, in fact had PEA not missed a sitter (or was it a superb tackle) we could have been even at 45 mins. What happened next was a shock. What changed? We just couldn’t get the ball, our passes when we had the ball were wayward, our attackers had no chances. Ozil and PEA were passengers. Was it AFC who got worse or City who put on a masterclass of movement and possession football?

Whatever it was, we were embarrassing for 30 minutes, especially after the second goal. We rallied towards the end but created only a single opportunity (PEA for Iwobi)

Player Ratings:

Ospina. Second time in 4 days he was beaten by a cross shot.  5

Chambers. Battled hard  5

Mustafi  Terrible for the first goal. A flaky defender who needs to find consistency  3

Koscielny. Had a decent game. My MotM   6

Bellerin.  Managed to keep Sane relatively quiet but could not get forward   5

Ramsey. Clearly unfit.  4

Wilshere. Plenty of drive and action, not enough creativity.   5

Xhaka. Poor performance. Worked hard but simply not good enough   3

Monreal/Kolasinac. Thank goodness Sterling was injured.    4

Ozil. Anonymous. 3

PEA. Tried hard but got no service. Missed our only real chance.  4

Wenger. Looks lost and must be sitting at home dazed. We got tonked and it seems as though his final season (hopefully) will be his worst.   4 (one extra for looking so smart at kick-off)

Looking at the above, I am surprised that I gave the defence higher marks, but it was not their fault there was a tidal wave of City attacks., for the most part they defended well, though Mustafi’s weakness for the first was very poor.

Still … onwards and upwards. Let’s beat them on Thursday.

wriiten by BR

 

 


Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners

February 25, 2018

4th Wembley Final in 5 years. It is a home game and we must approach it as a though we own the ground.

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My first attendance at a League Cup Final was as a youngster and I am still scarred by the event. Don Rogers scoring in the mud as lowly Swindon beat my heroes in a David and Goliath victory. The year before I watched the highlights of Dirty Leeds in black and white – I should point out that this was 7 years after Spurs last won the League 🙂

Today: Our away form is so disastrous that if Mr Wenger sets up his team to be conservative we are bolloxed; quite frankly this Arsenal defence is not good enough to halt the City attack. So, the answer is to be on the front foot from kick-off.

Sadly, we have a history of starting games slowly, feeling our way into the match, assessing the opposition and then trying to step up a gear. I expect the same today.

We have a plethora of attacking talent, if they fire as a unit, we could be kushtie. Ozil and PEA will cause any team problems … IF.

And what of Manchester City? From top down the Northern Oilers have created a powerful organisation. The inevitable, financially driven, ascendancy took time but today MC are clearly a cut above the opposition on a season long basis, same as PSG and BM (and the Chavs , until the Russian lost interest). But on a one-off game they can be beaten, Wigan did it.

Evidence of the financial doping? Mr Weger has spent£349m in his 21 years as AC manager. Guardiola has spent £371m in his 21 months at MCFC. This sums up all we need to know about why AFC are not competeing for the title.

How can we win? A couple of sending-offs would help –  preferably Sterling and Stones. A lucky goal or two from Hector and Nacho. A few thrilling saves from Ospina and defensive meltdown by the City defence. It is possible..

My Team:

Ospina

Koscielny    Mustafi   Monreal

Bellerin  Ramsey   Xhaka   Elneny

Wilshire   Ozil

PEA

The above team has little potency and it will require a goal or two from midfield.

The Number 5.

We have lost more League/EFL/Rumbelows Finals than any other team, 5

We have only scored 5 goals on the way to the final.

There will be 5 goals in the final, let’s hope they are in our favour.

COYRRG

 


Up for the Cup?

February 24, 2018

Excited about tomorrow? I mean really excited? You know – butterflies, dreams, stomach-clenching anticipation?

I can’t speak for you but I feel none of the above. Looking forward to it? Certainly. Aquiver? No.

We are about to play a Wembley Final against a wonderful team and potential Champions. Surely this is enough to get the blood coursing?

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Why am I not exhilarated?

Could be any of the following or most probably a blend of all:-

  1. It’s not a proper Cup. Can you name who won it two seasons ago? I think MU won it last year. Apparently Spurs won it 10 years ago and even they don’t mention it as sliverware. On the other hand, it would look fine in the trophy cabinet.
  2. The continual change of name. This year it is the Carabao (ridiculous). It was the League Cup when it meant something. Littlewoods, Milk, Carling , Rumbelows, Coca Cola, Capital One, Worthington etc etc. takes some of the shine off.
  3. Wembley has lost it’s sparkle. Started with the FAC semi-finals being played there. Now it is The Miscreants home ground. The great stadium has sold it’s soul.
  4. The PL clubs play their reserves until the semi-finals which gives an indication as to how highly even Stoke value it.
  5. This is The Big One for me. The final is too early in the season. Finals are for sunny, warm days not a ball-shrivelling February Sunday afternoon. It is not May.

Come kick-off time BR will have his loins girded (writing the PM will help),  be totally involved and I guess, so will you.

written by BR


Oil Money FC losing to Wigan – Good, Bad or Irrelevant to The Arsenal?

February 20, 2018

So, the quadruple is off. What effect might that have on Sunday’s game at Wembley?

Good

Seeds of doubt sown.

Shows that anything is possible in a one-off game – even when you have only 17% possesion.

Aguero might be banned for throwing a punch at a supporter.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Delph is banned?

City look less effective without De Bruyne.

Bad

They could be after revenge against the footballing gods and take it out on us.

Mancs, spuds and chavs path to the trophy got easier.

De Bruyne will be playing.

They can’t be as bad as in last season’s semi.

Irrelevant

What happens in a different competition six days prior to a Final has no bearing whatsoever.

In a one-off game even the BFG can play in Beckenbauer fashion.

Auba will be playing.

Good, bad or not relevant to Sunday? What do you think?

Mink DeVille 

 


Will Anthony Taylor be the deciding factor in the NLD?

February 10, 2018

Given Pocchetino’s honest but appalling admission that Spurs players dive, how would previous  managers have responded? Bill Nick would have tut-tutted then stubbed out his ciggy and ordered another pint (check out his nose),  Pleat would have cruised home in despair, Harry would have congratulated Poch upon a fine coaching job. Hoddle would have re-arranged his cilice (look it up!) They have always been morally bankrupt.

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Consider Gazza: Violent wife-beating nutter. Hoddle? Diamond Lights. Lineker? Adulterer. Klinsmann? Serial diver. Sheringham? Without doubt the most scurrilous, unpleasant player of the last 30 years. Ruddock? Vicious thug. The list is very, very long.

No wonder Defoe and Bale left as soon as they could.

And what of the current bunch of swindlers and soap-dodgers? Alli? oh dear? He was a wonderful prospect before he got Spurred. Dembele? Would you leave your children on their own with him?  Kane? England Captain and cheat – which says all we need to know about the FA.  Eriksen? Already booked the removal company to take his furniture to Spain.

Still enough of them

My Team:

Cesc

Koscielny     Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey     Xhaka    Iwobi

Ozil    Miki

PEA

The early signs of the New Arsenal are very encouraging. Whilst accepting Everton were rubbish it was our new attack which made them look rubbish. Pace, power, vision and an ability to find space will bring success over the coming seasons. The portents are very positive and whilst I remain in doubt as to whether they will gel immediately I am convinced that 2019 bodes well.

We know our weaknesses. A defence that gets flaky under pressure, a midfield which loses concentration and wing backs who get too adventurous. Spurs have the team to take advantage but hopefully we will be out of sight by the time they score – and they will.

A worry:  Monreal left the pitch holding his buttocks which could indicate a hamstring injury. If it is, there is the distinct possibility that Kolasinac will start. It hurts to write that in the time he was on the pitch last weekend, his pass rate was less than 60%. Easily the worst in the team and as bad as the worst Everton player. Add to that that his appalling defending for the Everton goal and he clearly has problems.

Let us pray Nacho is fit or that Maitland-Niles (Cons) gets picked to play left back.

If AW sends the team out to start on the front foot with positivity and attacking purpose, we can win – just as we did in the home fixture. Go out half-asleep and concede early, as we have done so often this season, and trouble awaits.

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I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we need a referee who can spot the cheating (unless it is to our benefit) . Given it is the fool Anthony Taylor, the man who gave a penalty to Chelsea when Hazard dived under pressure from Hector and the chap who mild-mannered Arsene Wenger told to F**k Off at Burnley, this could be an afternoon when the referee becomes the centre of attention. Let’s hope not.

Should be an exciting afternoon

COYRRG

 

 


Wembley. Is it a Home or Away Fixture?

February 9, 2018

Stoke, Watford, Swansea, Bournemouth, Forest, WBA, West Ham, Southampton. All teams we should beat. We didn’t. What unites all of these? You’ve got it – they were all away fixtures.

Chelsea 4 times, Man City twice, Reading, Hull, Wigan, Our winning streak at Wembey.

Conclusion: We are rubbish on the road this season but have a very good record at Wembley. It’s our second home.

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Unfortunately Spurs have done very well at home this season losing only once in the PL (I think. To be honest, I have little desire to check my facts about them)

So … will Arsenal view this as a home fixture where we are almost unbeaten this season, or an away fixture where we are clearly crap? This is strange and it is difficult to understand the difference in form. Much better qualified men than me work with the team to solve this problem, team psychologists, motivation specialists, individual positive therapy gurus, inspirational speakers, Steve Bould, Ian Wright; even Tony Adams has had a go. And we still lose to the bottom team in the PL.

But, Wembley is different. It has a proper pitch, centrally heated changing rooms with hot showers. It is in North London.

How Arsenal approach the NLD tomorrow will have a huge influence upon the result. We did them at home, we can do so tomorrow – assuming someone convinces the team that this is just another home game against weak opposition, if they can’t …. we are doomed.


Wembley Beckons – player ratings for Carabao Semi part two

January 25, 2018

First half

The chavs came flying out of the blocks, high press, overloading the centre backs with Hazard, Pedro and Willian confusing the whatnots out of Koscielny and Mustafi. Thank Dennis their early goal was cancelled out by Nacho’s crazy double kiss header, else the game could have run away from us.

Our midfield was all over the place with no-one quite sure what they were supposed to be doing as the ball flashed past them.

Gradually we got a toe-hold and had the two best chances in the rest of the first half; a Granit fizzer from a free kick and Mesut’s deflected right footer just before the break.

Second half

So much better second half, even without the cones! Chelsea began to play for the away goal counting after extra time. Their rotational fouling was not penalised by the lenient Oliver. Granit must have had a nose bleed being in the chavs’ six yard box but there he was, at a ridiculous altitude at precisely the right moment; almost as if it was pre-ordained. Alexander missed a chance to put the game to bed which, being kind, was probably harder than it looked. No major scares in the last ten minutes – job done, off to Wembley.

Ratings

Ospina – Busy Doing Nothing – 2 shots on target for the chavs didn’t leave our Colombian much to do ….7

Monreal – Pinball Wizard – Magnificent commitment throughout, his goal came at exactly the right moment ….9

Mustafi –  Working in the Coal Mine – always tries hard, improved as the game went on….8

Koscielny – Leader of the Pack – seemed to be fighting his injuries even more than usual but still imperious  ….8

Bellerin – The Way You Look Tonight – quiet, didn’t do much at all ….6

Xhaka – Road to Nowhere – summed up Arsenal’s performance, chaotic but Johnny-on-the-spot ….6

Wilshere – Push It – barely got a touch in the first half, an inspiration in the second ….7

Elneny –  Nowhere to Run – covered every blade at the apex of the upside down midfield triangle ….8

Iwobi  – Back Door Man – most tackles, most misplaced passes, bizarre  ….7

Ozil – Pretty Beat Up – the man with the weave decided kicking him was the only way to lessen his impact ….7

Lacazette – So Lonely – even less support than normal with the dog-botherer gone and an extra body in midfield ….7


Yes. We Can. (Win the FA Cup Final)

May 27, 2017

Is it just a British thing to support the underdog? Doesn’t seem to happen in the States (except in Rocky1).

It is rare that we Gooners support the underdog but we do today. Quite a nice feeling if I am honest. The last two FA Cup victories were against teams we should have hammered, one we did and one we nearly didn’t.

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So let’s get to the game.

First: In order to win we will need a strong and efficient referee. Another inept display like Blind Lemon Oliver’s last weekend will scupper any chance we have.

Chelsea will try to dominate and be physical early in the game. It sets up their play for later in the game when they push forward through their wingbacks. (I wrote that having no idea whether it is true as I have never watched 90 minutes of a Chav PL game unless AFC are involved 😀 ).

To win we HAVE to have 11 players on the pitch for the whole game. How will Holding cope with Costa’s fouling? Or Hazard’s diving? Will Sanchez, Xhaka and Ozil be rotationally fouled as usual against these Blue Devils and respond with aggression?

It is how Chelsea play and we need a proper unbiased referee, instead we will have Anthony Taylor. FFS.

I need say no more

2. Huge game for Ramsey and Xhaka. If they perform to the top of their abilities we can win. Even more than Ozil and Sanchez they have to get a grip of the game and supply the ball to our two magicians.

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3. Solid defence. My heart sank when Kos got his red card, I am sure his did has well. Kos has been outstanding this season and held our defence together. We will miss him. Gabriel is knacked, Mustafi could be on the bench,so it is towards the BFG we look for comfort. I love the man. What a bonus it would be to have our team captain lift a trophy on his first start this season.

4. Lethal finishing. This is a worry for me as Welbeck, who is my chosen CF, can’t hit a cow’s behind with a banjo,  and Giroud is Giroud; our over-reliance on Sanchez could prove costly. That said, Welbeck is a big game player and usually does well at Wembley. Chelsea have a fine defence and we will not get many chances, the few we get have to be taken.

There is little point writing about Chelsea. They are frighteningly good and worthy Champions. Strong all over the pitch with both Hazard and Fabregas in fine form, they have won their last 6 matches. A Double is within their reach and they will be both rested and determined.

I read that Mr Wenger is likely to start with Ospina – this surprises me. I know that AW is a man of honour and I imagine there was some agreement that Ospina would play in all the Cup game but …. Ospina is leaving in summer, Cech is our best GK and is in great form. IMO he has to start. But we know he will be benched and no doubt resentful.

My Team

Ospina

Holding    BFG    Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka    Gibbs

Ozil      Sanchez

Welbeck

I would love to find a place for Ox but can’t squeeze in especially when considering how the back 3 will need strong pacy defensive support. Theo, Iwobi and OG on the bench

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I love going to Wembley and am deeply envious of those attending. Give the lads a cheer for us armchair fans and please be NOISY. I am not sure if Peaches got a ticket (hope she has her own ticket-fairy). If not we will all have to squeeze into Ant and Chas’s pockets.

We beat the Chavs last time we played them in a FA CF, with two brilliant goals from It’s Only Ray Parlour and a very handsome chap with red hair. I understand Mesut has had a Cup Final haircut and it would be lovely to see It’s only Granit Xhaka smash one into the net from 25 yards. Why not?

Let it be So ….

COYRRG

p.s .Last game of the season and the last PM. I would like to thank all those who took the time to read my ramblings over the season. You have my utmost respect (not really 😀 )


Arsenal’s Glorious FA Cup History

May 24, 2017

Well here we go it’s the 136th edition of the oldest football competition in the world and our record 20th FA Cup Final. It’s our 2nd against Chelsea; in the 2002 final we ended up victorious, winning 2-0 with goals by Ray Parlour in the 70th minute and Freddie Ljungberg in the 80th.

Let’s take a walk back in time:

1927 Cardiff v Arsenal

1927 was the first time we appeared in the FA Cup Final and we ended up losing 0-1 to Cardiff City – Arsenal went into their first Final as slight underdogs against the Bluebirds who had reached the final only two years earlier. Despite having Charlie Buchan to bolster the ranks the Gunners could not break down Cardiff and Hughie Ferguson scored the winner. His effort slipped under Arsenal goalkeeper Dan Lewis’ body and the cup left England for the only time in its long history. This was the first FA Cup final to be broadcast live on BBC radio, having future Arsenal manager and experienced journalist George Allison at the microphone.

1930 Arsenal v Huddersfield

1930 was the first time we won the famous trophy the attendance at Wembley was 92,488 and our team consisted of – Charlie Preedy, Tom Parker (captain), Eddie Hapgood, Alf Baker, Bill Seddon, Bob John, Joe Hulme, David Jack, Jack Lambert, Alex James, Cliff Bastin.
Goalscorers: James (16), Lambert (88).

For their second final Arsenal were pitted against Herbert Chapman’s former team. Arsenal’s first goal had been planned on the team bus on the way to the game, Alex James taking a quick free-kick to Cliff Bastin who returned the ball to the unmarked linchpin to slot home. In the dying minutes a long through-ball found Jack Lambert who shrugged off the Huddersfield defenders to secure the game and Arsenal’s first major silverware. Both teams were led onto the pitch side-by-side for the first time in honour of Herbert Chapman.

Now some FA Cup statistics:

Final appearances (3 or more):

5 – Ray Parlour, Pat Rice, David Seaman

4 – Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Ashley Cole, Joe Hulme, Martin Keown, Freddie Ljungberg, David O’Leary, Patrick Vieira

3 – Cliff Bastin, Liam Brady, Lee Dixon, Eddie Hapgood, Thierry Henry, Pat Jennings, Bob John, Lauren, Sammy Nelson, Tom Parker, Robert Pires, David Price, Graham Rix, Frank Stapleton, Alan Sunderland, Sylvain Wiltord, Willie Young

Winner’s appearances (2 or more):

4 – Ray Parlour, David Seaman.

3 – Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Ashley Cole, Martin Keown, Lauren, Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira.

2 – Cliff Bastin, Santi Cazorla, Lee Dixon, Edu, Lukasz Fabianski, Eddie Hapgood, Thierry Henry, Joe Hulme, Alex James, Laurent Koscielny, David O’Leary, Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil, Robert Pires, Aaron Ramsey, Pat Rice, Gilberto Silva, Jack Wilshere, Sylvain Wiltord, Nigel Winterburn

Enjoy the game.

GunnerN5